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Women are complicated, says Mr Big, who operates his own system for managing what he calls “spot fires”.
“Sometimes you take the lid off, have a look in, and there’s a whole volcano going on in there,” he says. “The best thing to do is put that lid back on and deal with one issue at a time.” Ideally, he suggests, with a pat on the back and sympathetic noises because, frankly, it’s tough to say exactly the right thing to a woman who is emotional, unless you are a qualified therapist.
I like it. Sure, it’s a little patronising but it assumes two, quite correct things. One, most men are ill-equipped to deal with the kind of complexity involved in female problems and two, what we really want is a bit of sympathy, not a blow-by-blow description of how we should have dealt with that person at the office/the assistant at the corner store/the lawnmower.
Dealing with men’s problems, however, is no less complicated. As it turns out they don’t really want know-it-all advice either.
You’d think that for a biological species who can give you a whole breakdown on how to reach an unknown destination without your GPS, or reprogram the DVD player, they’d appreciate some detailed instructions themselves. Not so, apparently. Live and learn.
The recipe for a happy relationship, and sex life, is empathy. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, although most guys probably wouldn’t want to trade their Blundstones for stilettos. Sympathetic noises are the way to go. Clever Mr Big.
If it’s a better relationship you’re after, you might also try an kindness. Life can be tough no matter what side of the gender fence you are on.
My own involved a spring clean for Mr Big while he was on holiday with the four-year-old.
Since dating a single dad, I have a new respect for all those people who feed, bathe, entertain and educate children on their own while still trying to maintain any kind of adult life. The most I have ever managed to raise was a puppy.
Hence the French maid’s outfit while Mr Big was en famille. But men’s house’s, huh, the “floordrobe”, for example, a repository for clothes that may be worn again if they pass the scratch and sniff test.
I’ve never met a man who can throw anything out either – five of Mr Big’s once-were-white T-shirts never made the cull , a loss he is still mourning. (Sorry.) They were his mowing shirts, he says, a job the other 20 can’t perform.
Friends tell me their partners have clothes that go back to the ‘70s because “they’re still good”, or towels that have long ago lost any loveliness. I am sure this is true because you don’t see too many men who aren’t metrosexual wandering department stores “updating” their look for this season, or oohing and aahing over thread counts.
But, as I said, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. My Queen Bitch calendar may say “Men have feelings, but who cares?” but, in reality, we care. A lot. Mostly.
Men may be painted as the less emotional species but there’s a volcano going on in there too. So take the lid off and have a look in and then, maybe, put it back on very, very gently, and deal with one spot fire at time.

2 thoughts on “Dealing with spot fires

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